The Élan Hotel (Élan), a part of the Greystone Hotel family, is consistently ranked as one of the top five hotels in Los Angeles. Guests rave about its personal touches and modern look, as well as the comfort they experience relaxing after a long day of shopping in all of the nearby stores. For years, though, the hotel experienced comfort issues that challenged its ability to provide a truly extraordinary stay for every guest. Those issues were solved by our VRF technology.
Randy Scholnick, sales & products manager, Sirius Mechanical, Inc., Moreno Valley, California, described the noisy and inefficient situation. “The rooms directly below [the old HVAC] units – people complained and the rooms couldn’t be rented. It was a real emergency issue. The hotel was losing revenue. So they needed two things: a quieter solution – whatever goes on the roof has to be practically silent – and something more efficient.”
Scholnick recommended our R2-Series VRF systems, as they offer what he called “a true two-pipe system. Plus Mitsubishi [Electric] systems just do what they’re supposed to do. They’re efficient and quiet, and you get such good diagnostics. [Élan] wanted something that’s trouble free and that will diagnose itself. Well, that’s CITY MULTI®.” The team also installed three of our Lossnay Energy Recovery Ventilators to keep rooms smelling fresh.
With our technology running seamlessly in the background, the hotel guests are now comfortable, Élan management is satisfied and the project has received some great reviews, earning California Green certification.
To learn more about the Élan Hotel project and why repeat guests have shared positive feedback with management, check out the case study.
First came the trend of going green – a good thing. Now the trend is greenwashing – not a good thing.
A company or organization greenwashes by marketing itself as green but not offering products or services that are actually green. A realtor might list a house as being “green,” for example, when none of its components were designed or installed to minimize environmental impact. Or a hotel might claim to have green practices because it washes occupants’ sheets every third day instead of every day, but its lighting, HVAC, kitchens and vehicles are all voracious energy-consumers.
The result is that consumers are now being told to be suspicious of the word “green.” A recent Washington Post article made this very suggestion, telling buyers to “be wary of houses that are marketed as energy-efficient.” There is unfortunately truth to this statement. Some organizations unfairly claim that their products are green or contribute to a greener overall building. The risk is that the field may get tainted for the rest of us; consumers may come to think of green as a gimmick – something they’ve been duped by in the past.
As is so often the case, the best thing we can do is educate. HVAC contractors sitting across the table from homeowners can discuss the importance of energy efficiency in having a green home, pointing toward our zoning systems’ industry-leading efficiencies and how they tie into a host of green technologies like solar panels. Architects meeting with clients interested in green certification can discuss how our VRF systems’ efficiencies consistently help projects earn 28 points across two LEED® categories (Energy and Atmosphere and Indoor Environment) – advancing the project further down the track toward certification. Professionals can also talk with clients about green raters, ENERGY STAR® certification and countless other resources.
As members of the building industry, we need to do our part in educating potential clients so they know what to look for when searching for “green.”
Pokémon GO may have taken the app world by storm, but just weeks into its debut, users are already looking elsewhere to get their app fill.
Our apps, on the other hand, have never been more popular. They may not offer you a chance to interact with Pikachu and crew, but they offer incredibly useful tools for contractors. They are also free!
Three particularly important apps among our offerings are as follows:
kumo cloud™, available on iOS & Google Play & Amazon Fire. Contractors will win over many homeowners with this programmable app, which offers remote control from anywhere in the U.S. through a smartphone, tablet or computer. The interface has the ability to control multiple locations and indoor units, program cooling and heating events, indicate filter replacement and monitor errors in the system.
Residential System Builder™, available on iOS & Google Play. This app is built for use on tablets allowing HVAC contractors to walk into a customer’s home and provide an accurate estimate of what size and type of system should be used for their home, a look at the various indoor unit styles available and the capacity needed. Ultimately, it provides an accurate, visual way to demonstrate to a customer how our products come together for their home.
Diamond System Builder™, desktop software. This software allows engineers and specifiers to lay out and design a commercial HVAC system. It even checks that the system is properly designed within the required constraints.
The Oklahoma River has a vibrant riverside filled with attractions and stunning architecture. The Oklahoma City (OKC) Boathouse District is central to that vibrancy, with six buildings offering athletic training facilities, event spaces, activities for children and adults, and more. All of those facilities need year-round cooling and heating, but they vary widely in square footage and usage. To meet such ranges across its six buildings, it’s no surprise that the five newest Boathouse District buildings use our VRF systems.
Here’s a brief look at those five facilities:
Devon Boathouse. This designated U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site has “a little bit of everything across its 33,000 square feet,” said John Riggs, senior director of operations, OKC Boathouse Foundation. A facility with so many spaces, and with each space dedicated to occupant experience, required an HVAC system with advanced controls.
Chesapeake Finish Line Tower. The requirement to fully conceal all HVAC units – both indoor and outdoor – required a creative solution. In this case, the outdoor units were located in the basement.
CHK|Central Boathouse. Featuring a performing arts venue, art gallery and workout center, this boathouse has a wide variety of heating loads and unique spaces that all had to be acoustically sound.
SandRidge Youth Pavilion. This smaller space, with a high-level, contemporary look required the HVAC system to be discreet, while its ranging people loads required flexibility and speed in responding to adjustments.
RIVERSPORT Rapids. An architectural beauty and HVAC challenge, this space needed cooling and heating for a variety of spaces, and a way to conceal the outdoor units. In this case, the outdoor units were located behind a mechanical screen.
Five projects, five sets of challenges and five success stories. As Riggs said, “Working with the Mitsubishi [Electric] systems has been great. They’re unlike any other systems, and they’re fantastic. Very usable.”
We constantly strive to give back to the community that gives us so much. Recently, our team partnered with Village of Hope – a nonprofit that provides basic care and necessities to homeless, at-risk students and others in need.
During the school year, many children living in difficult conditions often rely on school breakfast and lunch programs for a guaranteed meal during the day. In the summer months, these services are unavailable. Alongside Village of Hope, our team made 350 sack lunches for children and their families. Area teens joined us to help, as well. Sandwiches may seem like a small thing in our daily lives, but for some, the impact can be enormous.
For University of Florida alumni and residents, the city of Gainesville is affectionately referred to as “The Swamp.” It was exactly that muggy humidity and those high temperatures that plagued the school’s buildings, prompting renovations to the electrical and HVAC systems in Simpson Hall. Last renovated in the mid 1970s, the 34,847-square-foot residence hall was in dire need of an HVAC update.
Chad Doering, mechanical engineer and project manager, Moses & Associates, Inc., Gainesville, specified the new HVAC system. “We wanted to be able to dehumidify and maintain indoor pressure, which was not something we were able to do well with the previous system.” He recognized that a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system would not only achieve these goals, but would do so cost-effectively – both in terms of the lifecycle-cost analysis he completed, and with the money saved by installing less equipment. Doering said, “This install covers 143 zones and if we wanted to give each student personalized control, we would have needed a branch controller for each zone – that’s 143 branch boxes. With Mitsubishi Electric, we only needed 15 boxes – and five of those were for the outdoor units.”
Our VRF systems are not just more efficient than the competition’s, they are incomparably more energy-efficient than conventional units. The chart below demonstrates the energy savings at Simpson Hall compared to North Hall – a comparable residence hall renovation the school completed around the same time, but with a chilled-water system:
The success of the Simpson Hall renovation prompted the school’s housing department to select our products for a second project – Cypress Hall. Despite being one of the largest residence hall construction projects on campus, the HVAC installation at Cypress Hall cost just $26 per square foot – beating Simpson Hall’s installation costs by an average of $4.
To learn more about how Simpson Hall compares to the installations in North Hall and Cypress Hall, check out the case study.
In our newest radio ad, our “official-sounding scientist” takes listeners through the personalization abilities of our Zoned Comfort Solutions™, emphasizing lower cost for greater comfort. It goes something like this –
Regulating the temperature in a car happens in one of two ways: either the air is on full blast, or the windows are open, often battering back seat passengers with whipping highway winds. Without either option, the car quickly becomes a mobile sauna. It’s difficult to regulate temperature in such a small space and for a relatively brief time, so it’s a necessary evil. That shouldn’t be the case in a home or office, however, where many rooms can satisfy many needs, yet that is exactly what traditional cooling systems do.
Catch this new ad over the airwaves to see for yourself how our official-sounding scientist captures this key messaging.
“There’s no application we can’t put it in,” says Kenneth McDonald, owner, McDonald Plumbing and Heating, Renfrew, Pennsylvania, of our Zoned Comfort Solutions™. McDonald Plumbing and Heating has served Western Pennsylvania since 1952. Over the years, our innovations have made the company’s projects simpler to install and easier to service. To hear how, view our most recent Diamond Contractor Spotlight video by clicking above.
You can expect energy consumption to come up a lot in conversation this summer; there’s just a lot of activity surrounding energy and related topics, like job creation. Partly this is due to the current election cycle, and partly because new incentives and tighter energy codes are being introduced federally and statewide to promote green building and technology.
For many people, this new focus on energy is great news. Bloomberg reports that all over the world, more cost-effective green technologies and increasingly prevalent green policies have led to a five-percent growth in green jobs over the last year – from 7.7 million jobs in 2014 to 8.1 million in 2015. This increase includes openings in biofuels as well as solar power, while oil and gas producers have seen declines since the middle of 2014.
Here at Mitsubishi Electric, we are proud to be involved in a number of projects that promote green building, and to create technologies that make lofty energy goals achievable. Some recent success stories include Concord Riverwalk (residentially) and The Willow School (commercially), though many more examples exist.
Our partner, Gustave A. Larson Company (Larson), annually recognizes manufacturers and suppliers with their Partners in Excellence and Quality awards. This year, 50 suppliers were scored against 14 different criteria, and scores were totaled to determine the top suppliers. Once again, we have been named a top supplier.
We were most highly rated for our “handling of rush orders” – a perfect score – as well as “merchandise quality” and a number of shipping, ordering and support categories – each of which scored at least 4.5 or higher on a five-point scale.
Our own Mark Kuntz, senior vice president, was on hand at the Wisconsin City Club to represent us in receiving the honor. Jennifer Corey received an accolade, as well, being named the top supplier sales person for 2015 in the company’s Mountain Region. We thank Gustave A. Larson Company for continuing to value our partnership and we are proud to offer excellent service year in and year out.